tv [untitled] February 6, 2013 12:30pm-1:00pm PST
>> good afternoon chair farrell, committee members avalos and mar, i want to thank president chiu for bringing forward this very important proposal. we have worked very closely with the district attorney on many of theses issues. as you know domestic violence is a very significant problem. here in san francisco, there are about 4,000 cases of domestic violence reported to the police department. and those are only the cases that are reported. any one of those cases could become a homicide. so we really believe this work is preventing death. in the proposal as far as the department is concerned three components, staffing, direct services and public outreach. it's very intentionally designed as a comprehensive approach per president chiu's leadership.
in terms of staffing, i just want to put up a visual of our department staffing from fiscal year 2001 to today and you will see that over time we almost had eight staff at the beginning of the 2000's and we're now down to 5.0 fste. i have six people in my office, three working part-time. part of these reductions reflect the fact we have tried to keep cuts away from our direct services, as much as possible. in your handout you have a time line of achievements that this policy analyst helped us achieve in the time that we had that position.
in 2002 we released a comprehensive report for san francisco's response to domestic violence and lists hundreds of recommendations by departments and we worked very intensively and collaborative with the other agencies to make sure that those recommendations were followed. in 2006 we conducted a safety audit for looking at our different partners in the criminal justice agencies and how well we were serving victims of domestic violence. in 2007, we started a two-year domestic violence response crosstraining institute on a victim-centered response to domestic violence. we trained 435 personnel. and i just want to mention one other way this position is so essential to our work. because of this work, because of the work of the justice oversight panel we were able to make important changes to 911
and police codes. before domestic violence was lumped into "general assault" category and now we have a specific code for domestic violence, for child abuse, elder abuse and stalking and in terms of lethality of domestic violence cases, stalking is a very important indicator. finally this staff person was reresponsible for producing our family violence counsel report that brings together statistics on child abuse, eder abuse and domestic violence and really, this past year, because we didn't have a full-time staff person, it was really up to a graduate-level volunteer from the department of public health to put this report together. and this is the city's business. this is really the city's business and we need to be responsible for these kinds of reports. moving now to "services." we have a proposal to augment funding for our legal services. under the leadership of our
president julie su, we convened three committee meetings last november to really surface those issues that are emerging. and one of the themes that came out of these community meetings was the need for expanded legal services, domestic violence cases typically take longer. they are very labor-intensive. we heard consistently that the partner agencies that we work with could really benefit from increased community-based legal services. one of the things that came out of the community meetings also was a serious lack of community-based legal services dedicated to spanish-speaking victims and our proposal is to go towards that. the last piece of the proposal is "public outreach." we have partnered with the casa delas madres and we're focused on peace at home, a postcard with resources that goes out to
schools, libraries and after-school programs and finally, one billion lives and you have a flier in your packet. and we have executive director susan swan of 1 billion rising and she will explain more about that event happening next thursday on valentine's day. lastly,, i just want to ask one of my commissioner, to say a few words. >> hello my name is alicia gomez and i would just like to underscore in following up with the important work that d.a. gascon does in his department, and underscore there is very important community-level work being done by outside of the justice center and outside of the police system by very, very brave community service workers and community-based organizations. as a result of the community meetings that we did have, we
did hear quite a lot that among the most vulnerable [kph-ublt/]s are the recent immigrant non-english-speaking and in particular spanish-only speakering or marginal -english-speaking communities that they are an underserved population. the most effective intervention is the linguistically and culturally appropriate intervention and i would strongly encourage you to support this proposal, because it does provide funding to an organization that precisely targets that population. they can provide very effective counseling to women who -- to victims, who are foreign to this system, who are unfamiliar with what happens when you call the police or what your rights are? who are actually new to a country, and perhaps outside of social services or family support networks that would
otherwise help intervene in these situations. and really provide an opportunity to get them acculturated to advocate for themselves or go to the appropriate governmental agencis when necessary. in particular, what we need is appropriate legal advice, this group does serve as a gateway, clearinghouse organization and they do provide referralals to the appropriate other organizations that provide pro bono or low-cost legal services. that without with women who have -- don't nowhere to go and don't know what their rights are would be at a loss. so i again stringly
ong strongly ask to you support these recommendations for these funds. >> supervisor mar, i just wanted to thank director rossi and director gomez for the importance of this program. and i know the group very well and the work of legal outreach, which i used to be a law clerk in '87, quite a few years ago, but i know how important the community-based support for victims is. i'm strongly supportive of the different programs in the proposal, but i wanted to ask if director rossi could address the budget analyst's recommendation that reducing from .5 fte to .3 fte. >> we were wishing this would move much quicker, but given
the timeline that is an ap propriate percentage for the fte this year. >> thank you, colleagues, my other questions? okay. seeing none, i know -- >> supervisor avalos. >> we're going to have public comment here as well in a second, but one thing that gave me great pause as someone who is a co-sponsor to this amend and the ordinance is that there is going to be an impact for our next year's budget and that if we're approving these positions now, we're basically front-loading next year's budget in terms of services, out in the community. in terms of a new position in the department of status of women. first of all, i would like to know what the mayor's budget instructions were to departments at the beginning of
the budget cycle? i think all the departments were expected to cut about 1. -- what was it 1.5%? to their budgets. does that mean in we're moving these items forward, and we approve these items, does that mean that the d.a.'s office will not have to fulfill the mayor's budget instructions and are we expecting other departments as well will not have to fulfill the mayor's budget instructions? is that going to be across the board in all departments will be exempt? or the mayor's budget instructions are no longer in effect? that is a question to the mayor's budget director. >> thank you, supervisor, through the chair, kate howard, mayor's budget director. that is quite a set of questions you have asked, but i think all onpoint. when the city decides to move forward with a supplemental in the middle of a year, that
discretionary, as this is. it has to be such an important priority that we have to do the front loading that you described and for that reason the mayor is very supportive and the da and the department on the status of women need these services out and out in the community as soon as possible. in terms of what it means. >> you are making a commitment for the next year as well that the mayor will be approving these positions in his budget? that is going to be submitted, that will have increased staffing for the department of status of women and for the d.a.'s office? >> in terms of what i would expect for next year, i would expect to see these positions included in the mayor's budget submission going forward. when you move forward a supplemental in the middle of the year, it does have annual consequences. that doesn't mean that our budget instructions are withdrawn.
we'll still be working with the d.a., and the department on the status of women, as well as with every other department, to identify savings equivalent to 1.5% of their budget. so we're beginning those conversations now. >> so their budget could still increase by 20%, but if you cut 1.5% of that 20% increase, that is essentially fulfilling that obligation? >> something like that. >> okay. just a question for the controller. and deputy controller smuda. we'll have our six-month report come out by the end of this week and we'll have a sense of where we are in the budget year and the impact for next year's budget. we'll probably get a draft version of what kind of deficit we're looking for next year? are you able to share any of that right now with the trends that we're seeing? >> through the chair to the committee, monique smuda from
the controller's office. yes, we will have a report completed either by the end of this week or early next week on the six-month budget status, that will project both the revenue and the expenses. it's important to note that with the year-end close of fiscal year 12-13 there was increased revenue that was realized. and that increased revenue continues in the base budget in the current year. so the report will show excess revenue over the budgeted amount. however, as kate howard -- in the calculation that the mayor's office has developed for the deficit, that additional revenue was taken into account. so that is one of of the reasons that the targets for only 1.5%. we are also looking on the expenditure side. we have a few departments that
have some savings. we have some departments that are over expending and the report will go into detail on those departments that are overbudget to determine what if any intervention will be needed to bring them back into balance? and so that needs to be taken into account as well. so at this point there is not too much additional revenue above and beyond what the mayor's office has projected, but we do have some departments that are overexpending their budget. >> could you say what the last projected deficit was for fiscal year 13-14? >> $129 million. >> so we're still around that same number, you would say? >> yes. yes, we are. >> okay. i should have written down my question, because i can't remember what else i was going to ask about that. i know that we're going to have other supplementals that will
come before this committee, supplemental appropriations and some are driven by a great need and i hear that the department of public health has one coming forward because there are serious deficiencis in the budget that need to be get remedied. i have heard rumbles of fire department supplemental and i have heard rumbles of a public defender supplemental and all are responding to a great need that we have in the destroy. city. i am concerned how can we handle all of these with a projected budget deficit coming forward. i think those are things that i'm grappling with in terms of moving forward. >> as are the controllers and mayor's office grappling with. >> >> if
>> we should have that report for you soon. >> thank you very much. i am here to address two questions that were raised by the budget analyst and address inaccuracies in the report submitted by the district attorney. i have discussed this with district attorney and he is aquire of aware of the concerns. i support domestic violence services.
the two issues i was asked to address by the budget analyst, the first concerned our staffing and how the public defenders' office staffs domestic violence and cases that are handled by private attorneys who are retained or attorneys who are appointed because there is a conflict of interest. i have a powerpoint. i have a handout for the supervisors.
the question we were asked by the budget analysty was whether or not the public defender's office had staff dedicated exclusively to handling domestic violence cases? before august, 2012 our office are two dedicated attorneys who handled only domestic violence cases. we changed that in august, 2012. now all of the misdemeanor domestic violence cases are assigned to 12 misdemeanor attorneys who handle all types of cases. you might wonder why they decided to change that? what was happening is because we only had two attorneys handling domestic violence cases, the trials, particularly the ones where they had to be out to trial within a certain period
of time were getting backed up. and people were not able to bring their cases to trial in a timely fashion and we were getting a lot of complaints from individuals who wanted their cases tried. and because we only had two attorneys handling those cases, sometimes one attorney would have 6 and 7 cases backed up. the consequence of that is that you would have to wait in jail for weeks, sometimes months before your case went to trial, because your attorney was not available. and so we changed that. and instead, we spread all of the domestic violence cases over our entire staff that handles misdemeanor cases. now the district attorney chooses to assign their cases presently to three dedicated domestic violence attorneys and not to their 12 regular misdemeanor attorneys. and so with that new staffing level, the d.a. would have seven dedicated domestic violence attorneys and we would
have none. just so you get a sense of what it would look like. prior to august, 20 12 this is what our staff looked like. public defenders, each figure represents an torn. attorney. ten are conflicted ten are depicted in black and two in red:the district attorney's office choose to have a dedicated staff to handle domestic violence cases and they had three. what happens is after august 12 , it's the same attorneys. one of the things we were asked, the public defender has 12 attorneys doing domestic violence cases and that is
where the district attorney's office is being overwhelmed. that is not true. we have the same 12 attorneys, but 10% of each of their caseloads now includes domestic violence. so each attorney is handling domestic violence and that is indicated by the red appendage. the district attorney still has 1ing misdemeanor cases, but has three attorneys who are handling domestic violence cases, depicted in the red. now the average caseload handled by a public defender is 60 cases per lawyer. and that includes, again, all other misdemeanor cases, everything from battery to assault, drunk-driving and things of that nature and also 10% of their caseload is domestic violence cases. the district attorney, their average caseload according to their report is 30. so their caseload is half of our caseload right now. and if you look -- again, 12 attorneys handling regular misdemeanor assignments and
three attorneys who are handling domestic violence. and the case load of those three attorneys handling domestic violence for misdemeanors now is 30. now once you change the staffing level, you are going to have again 12 public defenders handling misdemeanor domestic violence and other misdemeanor cases. and then you will have 12 misdemeanor district attorneys handling case other than domestic violence and seven lawyers who are handling exclusively domestic violence cases. that would reduce their caseload to 15, actually less than 15 12-13 per lawyer. so other question i was asked by the budget amount, is it true what the district attorney says, that the public defender only handles 52% of the cases?
and they asked me, what percentage of the cases does the public defender handle in general and what number of domestic violence cases does the public defender handle? we have in san francisco a court management system this. is one system that produces statistics that have been used for years and years and it is currently the only integrated system that we have to draw statisticks from. so i went to the personal who operates the system and asked foyer data and for the data. now what is interesting is that what the district attorney showed you in those two circles
is saying we only handle 52% on and page 31 of the report he is aing that they handled 112,987 court events while the public defender handled only 59,309 court events. when i asked the folk at the court management system with this, well first let me say, i have been public defender now for ten years and have never seen a district attorney count their caseload for workload by court events. court events have very little correlation to the work you are doing. why? because court events mean there is a case on calendar and what the district attorney is saying that if there is a court on calendar it's our case, but that includes everything from a person who adds themselves to calendar because they want to have their case heard. people who don't show up to court is all included in the 112,000 court events and it doesn't distinguish in my way between serious cases and
non-serious cases. you could have a dui case where you show up to court five times and a murder case you show up to 30 times and it's essentially treated the same. court events only capture the total number of attorney appearances and doesn't capture the work done outside of court, any investigative or motions work, none of that. so it's an extremely inaccurate measure and have i never seen it done this way and the district attorney incorrectly extrapolates our workload is only 51% because they divide 59 by 112 and then they say that they are handling 91% of all cases because they are handling twice the number of cases that we are. and actually, that is not true. what the case load again showed, and this is based on the actual cases. these are reports that are generated as a matter of course by the court management system. we handle of 65% of all cases.
is there a way they can't be measured? yes. the modern way to count cases is the industry standard now is to use what is called "the case load or workload analogy." essentially what you do is you assign a value to a case, in terms of the number of hours it takes. in our office in 2003 we worked with the controller's office and they spent six months in our office developing these standards. misdemeanorses we have five different case types depending on complexity of the case for felonies we have four different case types from regular felonis to serious y felonis to three strikes and murder. you figure out the time that the attorney has to handle the case and look at the experience level of the attorney and you figure out what an adequate
caseload is, given the number of hours that the attorney works a year? and this is a science. this is something that most offices are beginning to do now. so i have copies of the report. and the problem is without this information you have no way of knowing how many cases the district attorney's office is handling, the public defender's office is handing and how serious the cases are. one of the points that we make in our report is that we have seen a huge increase in three-strike cases and homicide cases over the past six years. and so that is something that obviously effects the workload, but not the case load >> if you simply count cases you won't distinguish between more serious cases and less serious cases and you will see in our report we have broken down by attorney. every attorney's caseload and workload is reflected in the index and that is how we determine what number of cases
we can handle. and we use that to provide that to the mayor's budget office. the second issue also relates to the question of trials. and you saw in the report that the number of cases referred by the police department to the district attorney, domestic violence cases has been reduced by 40%. we have seen that and it does affect your caseload as well. we are also seen according to the district attorney, they are filing 20% fewer domestic violence cases between 2010 and 2012. that is true. but it is true that there has been an increase in the number of jury trials, but the question that has to be asked is why and who is trying the cases? this shows the number of jury trials from 2009 to 2012.
in which you see clearly here, is that there has been an increase in jury trials. in 2009, the district attorney tried eleven, in 2010 they tried 30 and in 2011 they tried 29. in 2012 they tried 49. and then we have the number of cases that are tried by the private bar. and so the private bar, either because there is a conflict of interest or because they are privately retained, they also have cases that were tried. they only tried one in 2009. eleven in 2010, 3 in 2011 and 12 in 2012. what you see is the public defenders office is trying the majority of the cases. in other words,, we are handling more cases or trying more cases than the proportion of cases that are assigned to us. so we tried 91% of the cases in 2010, 63% in --